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U.S. Economy

Mobility and Engagement Index

NOTE: With the discontinuation of the database that is the input for the MEI, we will no longer update the index after March 31, 2021. For questions, please contact Tyler Atkinson.

The Dallas Fed Mobility and Engagement Index (MEI) summarized the information in seven different variables based on geolocation data collected from a large sample of mobile devices to gain insight into the economic impact of the pandemic. The MEI measured the deviation from normal mobility behaviors induced by COVID-19.

Mobility and engagement index by state
Mobility and engagement index by census regions
Mobility and engagement index by MSA

NOTE: On Dec. 23, 2020, the MEI methodology was revised, altering the national, region, state and MSA data. Under the previous methodology, the county-level MEI series were aggregated with weights based on the number of observed cell devices in that county. Under the new methodology, the aggregation weights are based on the 2019 county population. This had a negligible effect over January through April. Over May through November, the national MEI was revised down by an average of 1.4. The week ended Dec. 12, the national MEI was revised down 3 points to -42.5.

Navigating the charts

These interactive charts allow you to highlight specific series and see individual data points.

These functions are also available:

  • Hide and isolate data series: Clicking a series name in the legend hides that series from view, allowing isolation of a single series or comparison of selected series. Click the series name again to restore it.
  • Zoom: Click and drag to select a section to isolate and magnify. To return to full view, click "Reset Zoom" (upper right).
  • Print/save: The upper right menu offers options to print; save as PNG, JPEG, SVG or PDF; or download an XLSX file. These functions capture the current display of the chart and may omit series that are hidden.

About the data files

The underlying data is provided by SafeGraph.

The national series is aggregated from county-level data with device counts as weights. Similar for the states. In the county files, the county name is in the first row, with FIPS code in the variable name. MSA data are for metro statistical areas (MSA), aggregated from county data using the March 2020 crosswalk found here. MSA names are in the first row, and CBSA codes in the variable name.

The index is scaled so that the average of January–February is zero, and the lowest weekly value (week ended April 11) is -100.

File names including 'weekly' are averages of the daily data. The data corresponds to the last day of the calendar week.

MEI Authors

The MEI was developed by Tyler Atkinson, business economist; Jim Dolmas, senior research economist; Christoffer Koch, senior research economist; Evan Koenig, senior vice president; Karel Mertens, senior economic policy advisor; Anthony Murphy, senior economic policy advisor; and Kei-Mu Yi, senior vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.